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Nursing Students' Learning Experiences in Clinical Settings: Stress, Anxiety and Coping


Nursing Students' Learning Experiences in Clinical Settings: Stress, Anxiety and Coping

Mlek, Magdalena (2011) Nursing Students' Learning Experiences in Clinical Settings: Stress, Anxiety and Coping. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Mlek_MA_S2011.pdf - Accepted Version


This qualitative study explored nursing students‟ learning experiences during their clinical rotations, with a focus on stress, anxiety and coping. The six student participants were in the last semester of a three-year nursing program in a Montreal CEGEP. Three students reported this experience to be stressful, two described their experience as very positive and one described it as average. Despite different perceptions, all of the study participants identified a variety of stressors. These were classified under four thematic areas: 1) Learning environment, 2) Preparation for clinical and perception of self, 3) Effects of stress and anxiety, and 4) Coping skills.
Participants felt that communication and the development of relationships with nurses and medical staff was difficult and stressful. Therefore, as students, they felt they did not belong on the team. Although participants described most of their teachers as approachable, several reported that the constant evaluation process, high and unrealistic expectations teachers had regarding students‟ knowledge and performance, and lack of autonomy to practice led to heightened states of stress and anxiety.
Stress did not have an adverse effect on the performance of the clinical skills as reported by the students, but they acknowledged that it did affect their memory, retention and thinking process negatively. The study yielded new qualitative data on coping methods which students use in special situations in the clinical environments: a combination of emotion-focused and problem-focused coping methods. Emotion-focused methods were used more often. The findings have implications for improving learning and teaching practice and the environment of clinical experience for all concerned: nurse educators, nursing staff and teams, medical and management team and the students.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Education
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Mlek, Magdalena
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Educational Studies
Date:31 January 2011
Thesis Supervisor(s):Hamalian, Arpi
ID Code:7372
Deposited On:09 Jun 2011 15:01
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:30
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